China summons Japan envoy over former PM Abe's Taiwan comments

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Foreign Ministry summoned Japan’s ambassador in Beijing for an “emergency meeting” on Wednesday evening (Dec 1), after former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said neither his country nor the United States could stand by if China attacked Taiwan.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying called Mr Abe’s remarks “erroneous” and a violation of basic norms of relations between China and Japan in the meeting with Ambassador Shui Hideo, according to a statement from the ministry.

Mr Abe’s comments “openly challenged China’s sovereignty and gave brazen support to Taiwan independence forces”, it cited Mr Hua as saying.

“China is resolutely opposed to this,” it said, adding Mr Hua had made “stern representations” to Japan.

On Wednesday, speaking at a virtual forum organised by a Taiwanese think-tank, Mr Abe said that an armed invasion of Taiwan would pose a grave danger to Japan.

Mr Abe, who stepped down as prime minister last year, is head of the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and remains influential within the party.

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